Formation Flying

The idea for this one came from the time I was working on the movie TENET with the boys in 2019. If you remember, there are a bunch of Chinooks in the last few minutes of that movie. Mine is the one with the number 3208 on the nose, which you probably can’t see, lol. But it is also the only machine with mismatched rotor heads. The front head is painted black and the aft one is painted white, in case you are really interested in finding it. The movie was top secret for a long time and we were not allowed to talk about it. There are still very few behind the scenes and extra footage available for it. We flew every day for 3 weeks and only 3 minutes-ish ended up in the movie.

I learned a lot about formation flying and we had to fly super tight for the camera, way tighter than you would normally fly. You really had to trust the other guys, and it made us a really tight group of friends. I was usually flying “chock 2” and I thought it would be funny if Chuck just attached himself to a random formation happily flying along.
At the time, we also wanted to make the line “Who is this clown?” as a second by-line that goes well with “Chuck, is that you?” and use it every time Chuck gets in trouble with the military. We used it in our short “Out of gas” after Ean improvising a few lines and really liked it.


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7 comments on “Formation Flying
  1. Karl Winters says:

    FAR 91.111b No person may operate an aircraft in formation flight except by arrangement with the pilot in command of each aircraft in the formation.

    Doesn’t say anything about a chicken.

  2. Mo Davies says:

    I saw the two Russian test pilots collide at the RIAT. The second ejection took a long time, I believe the pilot was not aware of how damaged his aircraft was. I was willing him to eject for what seems to have been hours. Parts of the wreckage fell into our campsite, as we discovered when we returned there subsequently. I still, all this time later, cringe if I see two aircraft close together. Incidentally, the damage to the face of one of the two pilots was not due to the ejection. His colleague punched him after the collision!

  3. J Segal says:

    Chuck is concerned for causing a commotion clowning around in a close Chalk of Chinooks? I don’t believe that that can be said of him, at least three times fast.

    Besides, I agree with Karl here, chickens don’t count against regulations. Also, in relation to last week’s comic, it also seems like a bit of a role reversal here, that he’s the one doing the intercepting – always wondered why unknown aircraft like to sit off my wing, and now I know!

    Maybe one of you helicopter guys would know better, but it seems to me that Chuck is also flying from the wrong seat here? It *is* Chuck, after all.

    I’m surprised and a little disappointed that Chuck decided to form up with helicopters, surely he would imagine himself to be a modern-day Maverick, trying to keep up with an F-18 or two. As a related [and a to-remain-unexplained] story, a C150/2 sitting on the wing of a Mooney or Bonanza doesn’t work too well.

    Love the new line.

  4. Sina says:

    I’ve been binge-reading the entire comic line online here in the last few days and this is the first time i really need to speak out.
    I personally find it a notch funnier, if you’d left the “Who is this clown?” away.

    For some reason, the sheer out-of-nowhere-assumption that leads to immediately asking “what the… Chuck, is that you?!” makes it funnier for me. Just like the ATC immediately assuming it’s Chuck, like, he’s already well known across all the towers. I’ve grown accustomed to this running gag during the series and it doesn’t feel right to change it in any way now. Making someone ask who that clown is, takes away his infamousness. If something on the radio is slightly off … it’s gotta be Chuck 🙂 No need to ask who that clown might be.

    But that’s just my personal opinion
    Keep it up, there isn’t a single strip that i didn’t like so far 😀

    Starting my PPL(A) and PPL(H) next fall here in austria and am already hyping myself up for the Aviation Scene.
    Your comics help a lot ahaha!

  5. Karel A.J. ADAMS says:

    @Sina: you are admittedly new here – nothing wrong, there, at the contrary! But there are some fixed phrases around that can only be appreciated on long term observance – “Is that you, Chuck” one of the most standing out.

  6. J Segal says:

    @Sina – Hey, good for you!

    A lot of people around here with a lot of experience, and when the forums existed, it was the same story there. Don’t just look at the comic strips though, look at what Stef and/or Mike write underneath, as well as the comments. You’ll learn a lot.

    I think the most important lesson, though –
    This is Chuck. Chuck is devoted. Chuck is excited. Chuck loves what he does. Chuck breaks a lot of regulations, best practices, and often has to be bailed out by Julio, ATC, or sheer luck. That’s right, Chuck relies on luck. Don’t be like Chuck.

    But do enjoy yourself, both around here and in the air!

  7. JL says:

    Me on DCS every time

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